Sunday, May 3, 2009


Dan Lauria was a guy I knew back in college; I worked props on 'Inherit The Wind' while he played the Clarence Darrow-like defense attorney. He used to call me "Tim, his favorite prop man". Hey, he always came across as a tough guy even in real life, so - being the legendary Man of Gelatin - I wasn't about to correct him!

Anyhoo, if I see him listed as a guest star on a show, I'll check it out.

This past week he was on 'The Mentalist', playing Sonny Battaglia, a mobster eight years older than Dan really is.* I thought it might make for an easy "Theory of Relateeveety", to have Battaglia related via "crime family" to all of the other Battaglias I was sure to find in the IMDb. But as it turns out, there really aren't that many. The most prominent one would probably be Crunch Battaglia in the "Concrete Overcoat Affair" episode of 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' (as played by Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom), an "affair" which had mob connections.

Denis Arndt showed up as D.A. Frank Battaglia in 1995's sequel movie "The Return Of Hunter", a nice way for the Battaglia crime family to gain some respectability. It could be that Sonny Battaglia moved out to California to have his cousin(?) be his lawyer after Frank retired from the position of Los Angeles District Attorney.

At the very least, we can make a theory of relateeveety between Dan Lauria's two most recent mobster characters. This year he's played not only Sonny Battaglia but also Nick Masconi in the 'Leverage' episode "The Wedding Job". Considering how much the two of them look alike, and knowing from 'The Sopranos' and "The Godfather" how mobsters like to have their mistresses, I wouldn't be surprised if Sonny and Nick were half-brothers. Who knows? Maybe Crunch Battaglia is their Dad! Just sayin', is all......

Toby O'B

*While writing this up, I came across Dan's birth date. So let me point out that when we were both at UConn, I was an undergrad; he was a grad student... and leave it at that!

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